If you follow this blog, you know that I had my 20-year university Alumni reunion over the weekend. The thing is, I am not too big on reunions. But somehow this time I wanted to catch up with old friends. So off I went to Paris, and despite the late arrival of my Eurostar service I made it on time (just!). I had rented a dress for the occasion (this one here). You see, I wanted to look my best. I was a bit stressed, I am not sure why. Maybe because my own daughter will soon go to university. I also remembered that I had had a good time, albeit sometimes a bit challenging, but I couldn’t really remember why. It was so long ago. Frankly, the whole thing felt a bit surreal. Could 20 years have passed? Damn it. I couldn’t believe it!
The Power Dress I was wearing…
I bumped into an old classmate on my way to the Parisian restaurant where we were all meeting. I recognised him instantly. It had to be a good start, right? Old university mates kept arriving and I was pleased to recognised most of them They all recognised me of course, because out of less than 400 students we were only 35 girls. I was ashamed not to recognise some faces at all. Most of my old friends were now living in France. I felt a bit, well, different. I clearly had taken a wrong turn (and become British –what a shame). There used to be a guy who looked like a cool surfer. Well, he was still cool, but he had put on weight. Not a surfer any more. Then I saw the guy who was trying to grab my bottom at every possible opportunity, and steal my bras from the laundry to staple them on the class door (Don’t worry, I took matters into my own hands and he never bothered me any more. Suffice to say, I can be quite scary when I want to). I started to feel slightly uncomfortable, but I must admit that I shouldn’t have, because he was absolutely charming. He was now married and had three children, and was great fun to talk to. The old bully had mellowed! Unbelievable!
I was talking to friends and suddenly old memories and old jokes were coming back to me, which was fun. I suddenly realised how wholly unprepared I had been to leave my small village in Provence and started wondering what I would have needed to ease the shock. Maybe that’s the special care package that I will send to my daughter when she leaves home. So here is my list. Feel free to add to it, and also to nominate (using any of my social media accounts) someone you know at uni who would need such a package, and I might nominate him or her and actually send such a package, courtesy of @sendit_now (their FB page is here: https://www.facebook.com/senditnow). I know, I know, I am becoming a fairy Godmother. It has something to do with my ripe age, I suppose.
So, here is what I would have put in my package…
- Dry shampoo: seriously, what’s not to like about dry shampoo? It’s a life saver. No need for long blow-dries. I love it! No bad hair day any more.
- Killer make up. Especially foundation, if you ask me. Because uni shouldn’t be an excuse to let yourself go. And you might have been up all night, but it mustn’t show. Because that’s what being young is about, right?
- A good sport bra. I thought about this long and hard, and I have come to the conclusion, that had I had a good old-fashioned sports bra, it probably wouldn’t have been stolen, because it wouldn’t have had the same appeal. Because men don’t like sports bras, right?
- There’s never a bad time to read about historically badass ladies, but starting uni is a particularly perfect moment to read some stories of women who’ve changed art, culture, and history as we know it. My personal favourite would be the biographies of Marie Curie and Maya Angelou, but I also like Vera Nabokov & Zelda Fitzgerald. Just saying.
- As you know, it’s all about the dress. It has always been about the dress and it always will be. That said, you need to be responsible and not buy any old crap. It’s all about quantity over quality. Be innovative. Share your wardrobe with friends. Or use a voucher for a dress-renting service such as Rentez-Vous . Because it’s all about thinking outside of the box. So you’d better start now. Because it doesn’t get any easier. Now you are warned.
- A guide on how to study abroad. Because you don’t want to be too comfortable. Uni is a time of self discovery, so make the most of it. After all, the world is your oyster. So get out there. Now.
- Dark chocolate. Because you can never, ever, have enough of dark chocolate. And it’s healthier than other types of chocolates. That’s my excuse anyway.
What would you add? Did I miss anything? Let me know and/or nominate someone. I will do the rest.
UPADTE: NOMINATIONS CLOSED. WINNER TO BE ANNOUNCED SHORTLY
On this note, I must say that I was happy to go back to London. Because starting uni is also a daunting experience.
Disclosure: I have teamed up with SendIt Now for this post and for the #BackToUni #ad campain. All opinions remain mine. The winner will be chosen at random on all interactions on social media (Comments, Twitter, FB or Instagram) and announced on Wednesday the 14th of October at 5.00pm UK time.